What’s Fueling Apple’s Record Profits?

While most companies are struggling to break even, Apple continues to break records with sales of its popular product line. This week, as Apple announced that its fourth-quarter sales topped $20 billion, even Steve Jobs had to admit that he was “blown away” by the company’s record-breaking success.

So what is the secret to Apple’s success? What continues to fuel Apple’s record breaking profits? Here’s our take…

1. Consistent focus on quality and innovation. Apple does not put out junk. Its company places as much emphasis on quality design as it places on the functionality of its products. Because of Apple’s consistency over the years, it has a loyal consumer base that knows what to expect from the brand, and continues to support Apple’s products and services. As a result, Apple can continue to release new products with confidence that they will be well received in the marketplace.

2. Diversified product line. Apple does not put all of its energy behind one particular product. Instead, the company pushes a variety of quality products that it constantly upgrades and enhances to keep the customer excited about purchasing the latest Apple product. The recently released sales results show that Apple sold 3.9 million Macintosh computers, 4.2 million iPads, close to 10 million iPods and almost 15 million iPhones in the fourth-quarter alone. All of Apple’s products work together to create Apple’s success story.

3. An unwillingness to chase its competitors. Apple creates products that are industry leaders, instead of industry followers. The company constantly lean toward the future, by taking risks and exposing its customers (and competitors) to products and features that they’ve never experienced before. While others are busy chasing Apple, trying to create a newer iPad or iPhone, Apple is already busy working on its next innovation.

4. Solid leadership. Not only is Steve Jobs an unwavering visionary with a passion for innovation, but he is surrounded by a team of talented individuals who share his vision and excel at what they do. Apple’s success is a result of great leadership, marketing, research, design, technology, etc… It is a true team effort.

What did we miss? What do you think makes Apple so successful? How do they manage to keep breaking new records? And, what lessons can other entrepreneurs and small business owners learn from Apple’s continued success?

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